About 20 years ago, I made a tee box behind our guesthouse and cut out a golf green made of artificial turf about 90 yards up our mountainside. To give me a fighting chance at my goal, a hole in one, I made the hole the size of a water bucket and placed a beckoning red flag in the center of the giant crater.
I purchased hundreds of used golf balls from a neighbor and spent hours lofting shots toward the promised land. I gave my grandkids a nickel for every ball they retrieved from the rocks and sagebrush surrounding the green. After thousands of wedge shots over the years, not one golf ball dropped into my hole-in-one bucket.
With my spinal stenosis continuing to advance, I decided to give myself one final opportunity to achieve my goal, my dream. Now, reduced to a 7-iron, I launched my final shot high into the blue sky. Friends and neighbors cheered me on. I felt a jolt of exhilaration.
As was the case with thousands of shots over the years, my Titleist hit a rock well below the green and disappeared into the sagebrush.
A hush descended over my eight-friend fan base. Then, a great cheer erupted.
We all understood that we don’t always reach our goals. Our pleasure comes from setting lofty goals and then making a noble effort to reach them.